People argue that digital technology and GPS may be ruining modern-day storytelling. However, that is not the case with Lion, the extraordinary true story of how a five-year-old boy estranged from his home village and effectively orphaned through freak circumstances uses Google Earth to find his way back.

First-time feature director Garth Davis delivers a confident debut but the stand-out star is Sunny Pawar, who portrays Saroo Brierley.

After begging his older brother Guddu if he can come with him as he tries to earn rupees one night, Saroo is left to sleep on a stationary train while his brother continues his work.

When he wakes up he is trapped hurtling towards a foreign-speaking city 1,000km from home.

Unable to speak the language, Saroo soon has to learn how to survive the streets, scavenging scraps of food and sleeping rough.

After failed attempts of reaching home he is soon adopted by Tasmanian couple John and Sue Brierley played by David Wenham and Nicole Kidman, Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Skip forward 25 years later and Dev Patel takes over as adult Saroo haunted by the need to find his mother.

After making his first TV appearance as a teen in Skins to the heights of Slumdog Millionaire, Patel delivers his career best performance with multiple nominations to accompany.

At just over two hours the film has some pacing issues and would undoubtedly feel more engaging if it was cut down, but it is worth enduring for the emotional ending.

Such feel-good stories are only as interesting as the person they happened to and the combination of Pawar and Patel bring Saroo to life on screen.

With intelligent attention to the story’s simplicity and strength, it is a heart-warming adventure with a plot so unbelievable to think it actually happened.now-on-sale-2